By: Prudence Okonna
Sightsavers, an International Development Partner has called for the attainment of the National Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) objectives, to ensure universal access to safe water to reduce the spread of waterborne diseases.
The Organization enjoins Nigerians to fight for clean water access by taking action to conserve water resources, promoting sustainable water management practices, and advocating for policies that prioritize water access for all.
In a statement signed by the Public Relations office of Sightsavers Nigeria in commemoration of World Water Day 2022, the Country Coordinator for trachoma at Sightsavers, Dr. Teyil Wamyil-Mshelia said it is important that there is safe water for everyone.
She noted that there is a need for safe drinking water, and sanitation services, which are all vital in treating and eliminating diseases like the Neglected Tropical disease.
Her words: “We often find that areas, where there is a lack of access to safe water and sanitation, are also hotspots for neglected tropical diseases we treat like Trachoma- which shows how important it is that we accelerate change in this area”.
World Water Day is an annual event celebrated on March 22 to raise awareness about the global water crisis and promote sustainable water management practices.
Meanwhile, this year’s theme, “Valuing Water,” focuses on the true value of water and its importance in every aspect of life.
According to the World Health Organization, over 2.2 billion people lack access to safe drinking water globally, which is a major contributor to the spread of waterborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and diarrhea.
It added, in Nigeria, approximately 60 million people lack access to safe water sources, leading to numerous health challenges and impeding socio-economic development.
Sightsavers Nigeria has assured that it is committed to ensuring that all Nigerians have access to clean water by partnering with communities, governments, and other stakeholders to implement sustainable water supply and sanitation projects.
As a stakeholder in the WASH sector, Sightsavers through its various programmes and initiatives including the Social Behaviour Change (SBC) interventions under the Facial Cleanliness & Environment strategy is ensuring that Governments, Ministries, Departments, and Agencies prioritize the provision of safe water to areas of high need, especially in states like Jigawa, Katsina, Sokoto, Yobe and FCT among others, where Sightsavers continues to work with governments and other stakeholders to prioritize access to safe water and sanitation.
Commenting on the importance of clean water access, the Country Director for Sightsavers Nigeria, Dr. Sunday Isiyaku, said, sustaining the gains made towards the elimination of diseases can only be maintained through accelerated efforts to improve access to safe water and sanitation services in these areas, adding that it is important for the care and management of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).